Bob Taylor Budget reaction - Growth should be targeted at areas of greatest need
KHT's Chief Executive Bob Taylor believes yesterday’s Budget did not go far enough in targeting support to the areas of the country most in need.
Bob, said there needs to be more focus on investment in the areas of highest unemployment, predominately in the North.
He said more incentives to attract employers and encourage economic growth in the North would be a win-win situation, tackling unemployment, and bringing down the benefits bill.
“I would have liked to have seen more incentives around encouraging employers and economic growth to match the areas of high unemployment and reliance on welfare, which would encourage employers, with Government supported skills training, to create more jobs in the North,” said Bob.
He welcomed the move to increase personal allowances that will help families in lower paid jobs, but was concerned about potential for further welfare cuts outlined in the Budget.
The Chancellor suggested even with the measures in the Welfare Reform Act, a further £10bn of welfare savings would need to be made in the next four years to avoid making cuts in other Government departmental budgets.
Bob added: “The potential for further reductions in welfare benefits is a concern for families already struggling, if this is not coupled with real substantial economic growth and hundreds of thousands of new jobs to give people a real opportunity to get into and stay into work.”
The Budget also announced further support for the Get Britain Building programme and potential for social housing Real Estate Investment Trusts.
“I am pleased that there is to be a consultation on opening up REITs to social housing,” said Bob.
“The First Ark Group, the unregulated parent company of Knowsley Housing Trust, has been created to allow us to tap into more commercial funding streams such as this, and a social housing REIT could be one option to open up new private investment to provide the homes so desperately needed.”